I could get used to this….

It hasn’t rained for three weeks. This is unheard of. Exceptional. What’s more, it’s reliably warm and sunny. What has happened?  I’m disgruntled; I have nothing to complain about. Even the grass is barely growing.

I’m especially pleased, because this is the time of year when shrubs are contemplating next year’s flower buds, and the more they are lulled into thinking that it’s safe to put a bit of energy into that endeavour, the better next summer’s display is likely to be.

The other good thing is that we are sweeping into the Time of the Fragrance, led, as always, by philadelphus. Drifts of the scent sweep up the bank as the heat goes out of the day. P1010840
(I fear the lense on the camera is scratched. Comes of keeping it in my pocket along with secateurs, the odd nail, cherry stones and fragments of bantam food. So apologies for the picture quality meantime…)

Honeysuckle contributes, less intense, more concentrated within the flower. There are so many cultivars of the climbing honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum, that it’s hard to choose. But if you want scent rather than colour, it’s a good idea to stay close to the species. Mine has been good this year: often it suffers from fly, which ruins the flowers unless you spray it early enough in the yearP1010843.

There’s also this rose: ‘Ispahan’  – one of the few roses that I can really be bothered with.  A damask rose, growing happily through a viburnum to eight or nine feet; minimal maintenance, zero pruning unless I feel like it, and usually pest-free. And wafts of scent to reward me for my neglect. If only all roses were like this…

It has also been a great year for meadowsweet – filipendula ulmaria – the plant that lies behind asprin. P1010847
This grows wild in all the damp places in my garden – i.e. most of it, and I count it as a pernicious weed, because its creeping rhizomes smother stuff, such as irises, which might be trying to share the space. But when it’s in flower, with its strange half-bitter fragrance, I relent.

Finally, at the risk of boring everyone rigid, I can’t resist another picture of this campanula lactiflora. It has gone completely mad.



19 thoughts on “I could get used to this….

  1. How I struggle to keep the meadowsweet watered enough to bloom at all –and what a show of it you have. All your flowering shrubs are loving the weather just like you are. Mock orange is a favorite of mine. And I can imagine you basking in the rich fragrances, maybe on your way to take in the electric curtain from the clothesline…. I couldn’t see any scratches from the camera lens but I will suggest that you take care to NOT feed the chickens any nails out of your pocket.

  2. As I rot in mists and damp socks, soggy shoes and my wooly hat. I’m glad you’re happy. Honest I am. Looking bonnie though, glad the sunshine agrees with you 🙂

    Ps no surprise meadow sweet is rampant here, all by itself. Although mildew is its bed companion often gone August!

  3. Oh Fay, I’m so sorry – I totally forgot the northern isles were suffering, although I noted it on the morning forecast, and thought of you. So, I’m guilty of the London sydrome, when you wake up to hear some bloke in the south of England going on about what a fine day it is…and you look out of the window and it’s pissing down as usual. Please forgive – if I could blow your fog away, I would.

  4. I learn something from your every post, Kininvie: I didn’t know aspirin derived from meadow sweet as well as willow. (Suspicious mortal that I am, I just checked – how could I doubt your beneficent wisdom?)

    • Hi Minety….well I confess I checked as well, although I did have a vague idea. I see Wiki suggests you could chew the roots if you have a headache. Think I’d rather just take a pill.

  5. Kininvie, I share in your pleasure and amazement at this glorious weather. It does indeed bring out the fragrance from the plants. Your Damask rose has the most perfect of blooms. All this fine weather and here are we considering moving to Cheshire to be near our eldest daughter and grandchildren.

  6. The meadowsweet at work keeps itself to the ditches and ponds and I’m content to see its annual spread. The scent is glorious and covers the whole garden – remarkable. Relieved to hear that you are disgruntled Mr K – I should find a change in your demeanour disconcerting. Dave

  7. I still have the glorious scent of philadelphus wafting around, interestingly in the adjacent garden a ‘mow and blow’ merchant has cut their’s into a nice cube on which, what few flowers there are, have lasted a couple of weeks, my lightly pruned, much larger, specimen has now been flowering for at least four and filling the garden with scent. I suppose they ought to be grateful this year as the normal injudicious pruning usually destroys any chance of flowering whatsoever.

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